Tag Archives: Antibody

COVID: Germany advances with freedom for vaccinated people | News | DW | Instant News

German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Monday said he hopes that loosening of lockout restrictions for vaccinated individuals , or people who have recovered from COVID-19, will be possible within a week.

Legal approval is given at a meeting of ministers. Now it has to pass in the lower house of Germany, the Bundestag and the upper Bundesrat.

Spahn said that the signs of talks with members of the lower house of the German parliament, and with Germany’s 16 states, were “very good”.

The minister, after a cabinet meeting in Berlin, said the planned regulations should be passed “ideally within this week, at the latest next week.”

More casual rules about meetings

Under the proposed rules, people who have been fully vaccinated against, or have recovered from, the coronavirus should be able to meet again without any restrictions.

Previous meeting restrictions “does not apply to private meetings attended exclusively by vaccinated or recovered persons,” said the latest draft.

Those who have not been vaccinated or recovered “will not be treated like anyone else,” at the private event of those who have been vaccinated, provided they have adequate protection.

Easier access to travel and services

The proposal also means people who can show they are vaccinated and recovered will be subject to the same rules as those who test negative. Such a rule should make it easier for these people to access services such as shopping or visiting hairdressers.

Spahn also said that people arriving in Germany from other countries also do not need to show a negative coronavirus test if they have evidence of multiple vaccinations.

Likewise, post-travel quarantine obligations can be canceled in Germany, except for entry from areas that have a virus variant.

However, those who are vaccinated are still required to wear masks in certain public spaces and follow social distancing requirements.

Digital certificate

The government has also announced plans for proof of vaccination to be displayed digitally on smartphones. Those without a smartphone will be able to get a printed vaccination certificate that can be read digitally as a QR code on paper.

Spahn said that apart from doctor’s clinics and vaccination centers, pharmacies must also be able to issue digital vaccination certificates, which will be introduced in the summer.

The Minister of Health also emphasized that vaccinations can be prioritized according to age and occupation
repealed in June, but warned that this does not mean that everyone can be vaccinated immediately in June.

rc, mvb / wmr (Reuters, dpa, epd, KNA)


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Researchers conducted a SARS-CoV-2 serosurvey on blood donors in New Zealand | Instant News

Various strategies are being used around the world to curb the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new causative agent of COVID-19. The virus is highly contagious and is transmitted primarily by respiratory droplets from infected individuals.

New Zealand’s approach has reportedly been successful in reducing the incidence of COVID-19 effectively. In New Zealand, the first COVID-19 infection was reported on 26 February 2020. After a month from the first incident, the country implemented a strict 49 day lockdown. They follow difficult border controls, skillfully manage quarantine facilities for new arrivals, and also effectively manage isolation programs. As a result, New Zealand has remained largely free of COVID-19. However, it should be noted that at first, the diagnosis was limited reagent, rigorous PCR testing is not carried out. In addition, small community outbreaks and border intrusions were also reported.

Serological surveillance has been shown to be most effective and is used to determine the cumulative incidence and to assess the number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. In the current scenario, due to national lockdowns and limited movement, blood donors have been used as population guards in many settings. New research has been released in medRxiv* preprint server, which focuses on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and prevalence in New Zealand, via blood donor serosurvey.

In the current study, samples were obtained through a static collection center and a mobile collection service run by the Blood Service of New Zealand. Samples were collected from 3 December 2020 to 6 January 2021, from individuals aged between 16 and 88 years. In total, 9,806 samples were analyzed. From the 2018 New Zealand census, scientists determined a detailed overview of the participants’ demographics. Spatially speaking, the participants were most likely to come from sixteen districts, out of the twenty, represented by the health council. This study was also evaluated by the Health and Disability Ethics Committee.

The researchers found that compared with antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein (N), specific antibodies to the Spike protein (S) and receptor binding domain (RBD) were maintained several months after COVID-19. Because of this, protein S-based assays are used in serosurveys. In this study, the serological testing algorithm was optimized for specificity due to the low number of COVID-19 cases reported in New Zealand. Furthermore, optimization is important because the prevalence of seropositive individuals is low (0.04%). This decreases the positive predictive value of the serologic test and also decreases the specificity.

In this study, samples were initially filtered using 2-step ELISA. This test is based on a one-point dilution test against RBD, after which a titration is performed against the trimeric S protein. Blood samples above the cut-off were then assessed using two immunoassays, namely, EuroImmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA (EuroImmun AG, Lübeck, Germany) and cPass replacement Viral Neutralization Test (sVNT) (GenScript, New Jersey, USA) . Samples were considered seropositive only after obtaining positive results in both commercial tests. The sensitivity and specificity of this test were evaluated using a Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curve, which is based on a previous analysis covering 413 pre-pandemic negatives, 99 confirmed cases of COVID-19 via PCR testing.

Investigators of this study have reported that among 9,806 samples studied, 18 were found to be positive for Spike IgG (EuroImmun) and antibodies that inhibit the RBD-hACE-2 (sVNT) interaction with a high degree of correlation (Pearson r 0.7993, p <0.0001). Furthermore, these 18 seropositive samples were analyzed using a multiplex bead-based assay. This test determines the reactivity of the antibody isotypes to the RBD, S, and N proteins, whose patterns are found to be similar to those of infections that occurred weeks or months earlier. Most of the samples showed high concentrations of RBD and S. IgG protein. However, very few samples reported the presence of N IgG, IgA, or IgM proteins against three antigens (S, N, and M).

The study reports that among 18 seropositive samples, six were associated with donors with previously confirmed COVID-19 infection. The other four seropositive samples were donors who had traveled to high-risk countries, such as the UK and Europe, in 2020. Thus, all four people were infected outside of New Zealand. The last eight seropositive samples came from seven different health districts, where the crude seroprevalence estimate was 0.082%. To estimate true prevalence, the Rogan-Gladen estimator was used with the CI Lang-Reiczigel method to assess the sensitivity of the test. In this study, it was estimated that the true seroprevalence was 0.103% (95% CI 0.09-0.12%). Furthermore, the research also revealed that during the study period, undiagnosed infections occurred.

Investigators from this study observed that the very low seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in New Zealand indicates reduced community transmission. Similar incidents have also been reported in Australia. This study is the first report to provide serological evidence of the success of New Zealand’s strategy to control COVID-19 before the vaccination program.

* Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be construed as conclusions, guidelines for health-related clinical / behavioral practice, or are treated as established information.


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Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis: Promotes Awareness and Understanding | Instant News

As May 9-15 2021 is Food Allergy Awareness Week, there is an opportunity to raise awareness food allergies and anaphylaxis. Fortunately, the incidence of food anaphylaxis that is fatal to a person is low and increases the risk of death slightly.1,2 However, because food allergy anaphylaxis can be fatal, it is important to highlight food allergy awareness in order to provide appropriate treatment and counseling for patients.

Food allergies are allergic reactions that involve the immune system. For food allergies – particularly food allergic reactions that are mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE) – there are specific food proteins that are the basis for the body to increase the immune response. In the most common type of food allergy, IgE antibodies target specific proteins in food that are mistakenly perceived as a threat. Food-specific IgE antibodies are formed that bind to receptors on mast cells, basophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells, and when the allergens reach cell-bound IgE antibodies in susceptible individuals, mediators are released causing allergy symptoms. There are also non-IgE or mixed IgE-mediated reactions, but the immunological basis of IgE-mediated is key to understanding how food allergies work.

Research from 2019 shows that at least 10.7% (> 26 million) of US adults are allergic to food, whereas 19% of US adults believe they have a food allergy.3 Having a confirmatory test with a strong clinical history is important to avoid undue burdens of quality of life and to provide appropriate counseling, medication, and diet management, if necessary.

Anaphylaxis is a multisystemic, severe, and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms can vary from confusion and agitation to swelling of the lips and mouth, difficulty breathing, wheezing, hypotension / weak pulse, and / or itching or redness all over the body. Epinephrine is the treatment of choice for this reaction. Many patients with food allergies have epinephrine autoinjectors. Epinephrine is generally not needed for mild hives – but if there are concerns about respiratory symptoms or persistent vomiting or abdominal pain, epinephrine is usually needed. Delayed administration of epinephrine has been cited as the most common cause of death from food allergies.4.5 In addition, as we enter the summer months, patients and providers need to be aware that epinephrine autoinjectors can lose potency within hours if stored in a heated car.6

Any food can cause an allergic reaction. However, eight types of food cause about 90% of all reactions: milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, and soy.7 For those affected, education in the treatment and prevention of food allergic reactions is essential – which is why patients should be provided with assistance in reading and understanding food labels.8 This is especially true for children with food allergies, who should be encouraged to start reading food labels as soon as they can read at home from a caregiver.

There are many organizations that can provide assistance with food allergy education, diagnosis, treatment, and advocacy. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)
  2. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI)
  3. World Allergy Organization (WAO)
  4. Food Allergy Research & Education Organization (FARE)
  5. Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), a division of the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation

This organization has a variety of online resources that are also available to patients and providers.9,10,11,12,13

Eevar Benjamin Rossavik, DO, is the chief resident of pediatrics who will soon join the faculty of his program to become a pediatrician. He has special interests in allergies, asthma and immunology.

Doctors and experts are interested in responding to these articles, or submitting their own articles to HCPLive, can contact the editorial team here.


  1. Turner PJ, Jerschow E, Umasunthar T, Lin R, Campbell DE, Boyle RJ. Fatal Anaphylaxis: Mortality Rate and Risk Factors. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2017; 5 (5): 1169-1178. doi: 10.1016 / j.jaip.2017.06.031
  2. Umasunthar T, Leonardi-Bee J, Hodes M, et al. Incidence of fatal food anaphylaxis in people with food allergies: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Allergy Clin Exp. 2013; 43 (12): 1333-1341. two: 10.1111 / cea.12211
  3. Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. Food Allergy Prevalence and Severity Among US Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2019; 2 (1): e185630. Published 2019 January 4. Doi: 10.1001 / zamanetworkopen. 2018.5630
  4. Chooniedass R, Temple B, Becker A. Use of epinephrine for anaphylaxis: Too infrequent, too late: Current practices and guidelines in health care. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol2017; 119 (2): 108-110. Doi: 10.1016 / j.anai.2017.06.004
  5. Lieberman P. Biphasic anaphylactic reactions. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005; 95 (3): 217-258. doi: 10.1016 / S1081-1206 (10) 61217-3
  6. https://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/newsroom/news-releases/epipens-heat#:~:text=Epinephrine%20autoinjectors%20(EAIs)%20have%20recommended,59%20%E2%80% 93% 2086% 20degrees% 20Fahrenheit% 20permitted
  7. https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/food-allergies-what-you-need-know
  8. https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/how-read-food-label
  9. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/food-allergy
  10. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergy
  11. https://www.worldallergy.org/education-and-programs/education/allergic-disease-resource-center/professionals/food-allergy
  12. https://www.foodallergy.org
  13. https://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org


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Food preservatives in processed foods compromise the immune system: Studies | Instant News

Food preservatives present in processed foods can damage the immune system, according to a new study.

These findings suggest that the preservative tert-butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, can impair immunity in both test and non-animal animals. TBHQ has been used in all types of food. It offers no benefit other than increasing the product’s shelf life.

In that study, the research team found that TBHQ affected immune cell proteins at doses similar to those that cause damage in traditional studies.

“The pandemic has focused public and scientific attention on environmental factors that can affect the immune system,” said researcher Olga Naidenko of the US-based Environmental Working Group.

“Before the pandemic, chemicals that could damage the immune system’s defenses against infection or cancer did not receive sufficient attention from public health agencies. To protect public health, this has to be changed, ”added Naidenko.

For the study, the researchers used data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxicity Forecast or ToxCast. They analyzed the health hazards of the most common chemicals added to food, as well as the “forever chemical” known as PFAS, which can transfer to food from packaging.

They examined all publicly available studies showing how PFAS migrated to food from packaging materials or processing equipment.

The study is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.


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Brazil, South African Covid variants are less susceptible to antibodies: Study | Instant News

Novel variant form first reported in South Africa and Brazil to be less efficiently inhibited by antibodies from recovered patients and vaccinated individuals, a new study confirms.

According to research published in the journal Cell, recovery from COVID-19 as well as vaccinations may only offer incomplete protection against this mutant form of the virus.

“This is worrying because the rapid spread of variants that may not be efficiently inhibited by antibodies could undermine our current vaccination strategy,” said Stefan Pohlmann, co-author of the study from the German Primate Center in Gottingen.

This viral variant has a mutation in the spike protein – a structure on the surface of the virus that is responsible for attaching to host cells – the researchers said.

In order for the virus to enter cells, they say it must first attach to the surface of the host cell using its spike protein, which is located in the viral envelope.

The spike protein is also a target for antibody therapy and vaccines aimed at preventing viral replication in the body, they added.

Based on the research, scientists say the antibodies used to treat COVID-19 do not inhibit South Africa and Brazil. variants – B.1.351 and P.1.

“In addition, these variants are poorly inhibited by the antibodies of cured or vaccinated individuals, they partially bypass the antibody neutralizing effect,” said Jan Munch, another study co-author.

The study noted that vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 could offer reduced protection from the SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.351 and P.1.

“Our findings suggest that it is important to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible until vaccination is widely possible. Otherwise, we risk the emergence of new variants that cannot be effectively controlled by currently available vaccines,” said Markus Hoffmann, the study’s first author.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standards staff; other content was generated automatically from syndicated feeds.)

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